What attracted you to working in the fitness industry? I loved sport and exercise from a young age and came from a family that loved sport too, so it was always a big part of my life. I also did a business degree at university and always dreamed of running my own business. Working as a personal trainer allowed me to combine both of my passions so it just seemed like an ideal fit.
How did you develop the 4321 Method? The 4321 Method came about after roughly 2 years of being a personal trainer. Clients were struggling to fit in exercise in between sessions with me and they found nutrition a chore. I wanted to simplify everything for them and give them a clear structure to follow. This formula does just that. It is about the daily structure it creates for my clients and the focus and mindset it gives them. If they consistently apply the formula then results follow.
What has been the most challenging part of building your online fitness business? I think the hardest part has been getting exposure. Before launching the online programme all of my one to one clients had tested it for a long period so I was confident that it delivered but it was hard trying to reach people beyond my current base. Social media is obviously an excellent tool for that, but it does take time.
How do you balance being a mum of a small child with growing your business? It is not an easy balancing act as all working mums will tell you, but I am lucky because I can control my own diary. I work when Paolo naps, when he goes to bed at night and also split the other times with my husband who is also self employed. My day is very long and full on but I enjoy the balance for being able to work hard yet still spend a good amount of time with Paolo.
You focus a lot on isometric workouts on your channels – what benefits do these training methods bring and are those benefits transferrable across different sports? With body weight training you need to mix things up in order to make sure people keep progressing, so instead of adding weights as most people do, I use isometric workouts alongside other techniques like tempo training and supersets to make sure every muscle is being worked hard. The benefits from using techniques, like isometric workouts, can definitely be transferred across all sports because as well as strengthening your muscles they also test your mental strength as it can be mentally tough to hold one position for a period of time.
From your own social media accounts, it doesn’t seem like you need much equipment at home to benefit from your workout advice – are there any pieces of equipment such as resistance bands or weights that you would recommend to athletes right now? The programme is all body weight training as one of my priorities is that there are no barriers to training allowing people to workout anywhere, anytime. However, with that being said if you have access to training equipment or want to use some equipment to add variety then that is awesome. My favourite piece of at home kit is a Pull Up Mate. It is one piece of equipment yet it allows you to add so many exercises to your programme and is an extension of body weight training which I love. I also enjoy using a medicine ball for ab work. The key with using equipment at home is to keep it simple and only use products you are comfortable and confident in using correctly.
Given the current global circumstances, sport is not accessible at the moment, particularly in the UK. What advice would you give to sporting, or want to be sporting, enthusiasts aiming to keep active mentally and physically throughout this period? I would recommend working on fitness and technique for your sport at the moment. Naturally the best part about sport is the competition, but whilst that is not possible there is an opportunity to zone in on other areas of your sport. You can take time to work on core skills, footwork, agility and strength and conditioning, that way when you get back to competing you will have made great progress. Plus, working on these skills are both physically and mentally challenging as you need to focus on areas you may not be as comfortable working.
Following on from that, are there any particular exercises that you would highly recommend people are performing to keep active during this period? I would recommend doing a variety of training over this period particularly varying between high intensity and low intensity training, like yoga or Pilates. There is a tendency for people to navigate towards HIIT training all the time but changing the pace can be great for your training and great for the mind. In times of such uncertainly a practice, like yoga, can offer some much needed mindfulness and relaxation.
Lots of athletes have been using this time to address imbalances in their bodies or any weaknesses that you would advise people to work on during this time? I always advise athletes spend any extra time working on flexibility. It is an area that is often overlooked in favour of more strength and conditioning and cardio, however improving flexibility can have a massive impact on your training and overall performance so it worth spending time on.
You are based in the UK which has been hit by Covid-19 and that has meant lock down measures being implemented. What has your personal training schedule looked like since the UK has been in lock down, and how does that differ to ‘ordinary’ times Covid 19 has massively affected my one to one sessions as I obviously cannot see people in person. Some clients have opted to do Skype sessions, which are great, but given that my online programme is so well established many one to one clients have just moved over to the online programme. I am fortunate that my online programme was already in place so that side of things has not been affected at all.
And finally, have you unearthed any TV shows or movies that are simply unmissable? At the moment I am really enjoying Narcos on Netflix and I am mining through all their stand up comedy specials as a good laugh always helps when things are uncertain and more stressful than normal!